Protein post-run

Does anyone consume protein straight after a run? I've been reading a few articles and they all seem to advocate protein for recovery purposes. My post run food is nearly always porridge with blueberries (sometimes with a bit of maple syrup) but I doubt it's particularly high in protein - I use semi-skimmed milk.

I'm toying with the idea of protein bars... If I can get my chocolate fix that way, at least then I'm not consuming all the usual crap in most chocolate bars and biscuits.

38 Replies

  • I like a bag of really salty crisps after a long run, it really does the trick....

  • I'm such a bad person.... porridge and all the good stuff before a long run at the weekend and then bacon baps when I finish!!

  • Chocolate milkshake is good and hydrates better than water after a run. win win

  • I have been wondering what the best thing is post run too simon, so will read answers with interest☺

  • Another vote for chocolate milk here ! Followed by a bowl of porridge after a shower if I've run before breakfast :-)

  • Hmmmm I'm not very good so will read the answers with interest.

    I normally scoff a nana on my return before shower them empty the fridge afterwards which would explain my lack of weight loss. 😆

  • After most runs I have a serving of Nutrimax Pro - 20g of protein and virtually no calories. After a long run I have a shake made of 35g oats, 40g Nesquick choc, a banana and a pint of full fat milk. That's a monster! Also often have a protein bar. As I understand it, getting some protein in within 30 minutes of a run on a regular basis is quite important and really does work.

  • Love the sound of that shake!😊

  • Chocolate milk here too and if it's a very long run (more than an hour) then I add a spoonful of whey protein. I read in Runners World that chocolate milk is the best recovery drink for runners as it contains everything we need. Make your own with cocoa powder and a touch of vanilla. Yum!

  • Apparently Mo drinks chocolate milk - so if it's good enough for him, who am I to argue !! :-)

  • Permission to have chocolate!? I I do love running!☺

  • Great isn't it - I'm hoping for a study that extols the use of doughnuts as a run recovery meal :-)

  • It probably depends on how long your run is and when. I would be careful to much too much protein bars as they can contain a lot of calories. I tend to have porridge with blueberries as breakfast before a long run (if the run is mid morning). Afterwards I also have chocolate milk (semi-skimmed milk with one spoonful of nesquick powder, so not too sugary) and often a banana if tea won't be for a while. On Saturday I am planning on eating half of my nutty protein rich bar during my run and the other half afterwards; may need to take a flask with choc milk too :-)

  • Similar here. If it's not a long run then I'm not too stringent about post run food. However, on my longer runs I've started to take half of the protein bar with me and eat the remainder when I get back.

  • The protein bars I have seen clock in at around 250 calories - roughly double the calories of the chocolate biscuits I usually have every day. If (and it's a big if) I can replace 6 chocolate biscuits per week with 3 protein bars then I am not increasing my calorie intake but I am getting lots more protein instead.

  • Dont waste your money though, these things are often v expensive and you can probably knowck up something yourself flap jack stylie?

  • Blimey.

    I normally do my longer run (only 9.5k) at lunchtimes & when I get back to work, I crave carbs ... The "home-cooked" chips on offer in the staff restaurant are very hard to resist!

    Porridge? Chocolate milk shakes, Blueberries? Protein bars?

    A whole world awaits ;-)

  • Honestly, the other day I was discussing stir fried cabbage with tofu and miso with my husband and he pointed out I used to eat total junk. I swear running has made me crave healthier food. I used to eat a small portion of spinach a few times a week - now I eat it out of the bag like snacking on crisps! I've also converted to porridge for breakfast. It's a slippery slope to a healthier diet ☺

  • I usually have whey protein, water and a banana whooshed up in the blender for breakfast, so on Saturdays it what I have after parkrun. If I do strength training I have the same but without the banana. Protein bars are OK if you are on the move (bulkpowders or myprotein are good/cheap).

  • Soy and whey protein shake for me after a run.

    I should add, that is my lunch. I tend to run at lunch, and after the run have the protein shake as my lunch.

  • Fab advice in this book: Training Food by Renee McGregor. "The general rule of thumb for a recovery drink is that it should be 3:1 carbohydrate to protein. The easiest way to achieve this is to use a milk-based option".

  • For me? -- usually a shower and a drink of water!!!

    Personally, I think a lot of what we read on the Internet is about optimal training for competitive athletes. Sub-optimal training for non-competitive people suits me fine. I sucked on a couple of pouches of baby food for my one and only HM last year - I can't really say that I felt any affect, good or bad, from it.

    I have plenty of fat to burn - and my training and long distance racing paces are slow enough to not use much blood glycogen so I don't feel the need at all for post run food. Water is a different matter!!!!

  • well said that man!!!, I am not, and never will be an athlete so I will continue to enjoy my bad habits with the knowledge it wont effect my performance that much!! To me its all calories in, energy out... BUT I am a believer in giving up alcohol which is a positive work in progress :)


    Hate to have to tell you this - but YOU , out of all of us here, ARE TRULY AN ATHLETE!!! :) I have realised recently that even I am an athlete - we compete - ipso facto we are athletes!! :)

  • If i have been good and remember to buy some chocolate milk shake or its peanut butter and toast for me but only if its a long run or if its parkrun then a coffee and baked beans on toast in Tea Room after.

  • I don't worry about it, only running up towards 10k late morning, and lunchtime get back for either a sandwich, or soup or jacket spud...and of course water!

  • Hmmm some interesting takes and ideas , something to think on, can vouch for the expensive "healthy" bars £2.49 for 4 in Tesco . Really must find a recipe for homemade healthy protien packed flap Jack stylie as jj says :)

  • I run before breakfast then have a big bowl of porridge made with half muesli, half oats, a spoon of oatbran and a spoon of peanut, almond or cashew butter with almond milk. And a big cup of builders tea! A big breakfast but still lost lots of weight so can't be too bad!

  • I am very dubious about these shakes and powders and such like. Bought milky choc drinks will be full of sugar! Make your own then you know it's healthy You don't need anything special if you're not running far.

    I make my own energy bars. The bought ones cost a bomb. If you make your own you know they're healthy. Your porridge and blueberries with a splash of milk sounds fine.

  • When training for my HM I had a problem with not getting enough calories as my appetite would go, so after the long runs I blended semi skimmed milk, cocoa powder and a banana and drunk it while I waited for my bath to run, I found that helped and then on event day event is the only time I take powdered protein recovery powder to mix with the water they give you so I can have it very soon after I have finished the event. That helps with the muscles for the next day.

  • I might just get some protein powder and put it in with my porridge.

  • There was recently a programme on BBC where they did a research on what happens when you consume protein.

    What they found was it actually does go to the muscles you exercise within a minute.

    What they also found was that in the long run, the muscle gain from consuming protein is same as that from balanced diet.

    Your body can use only 50 grams of protein per day.

    So if you consume more, you only end up creating very expensive pee.

    If you are getting protein though, I would recommend whey protein isolate of a decent brand.

    Look for as few ingredients as possible. Also, look for low or no sugar or Aspartame. do Whey Protein Isolate that comes from cows that are grass fed and harmone free.

    Good luck!

  • I think, on this subject, that excess protein can actually cause your kidneys a problem as well - as Ash says, it just comes out in your pee, but your kidneys are having to work overtime to process it - which isn't good :-O

  • I thought it was that you had to get carbohydrates in within 2 hours of the run, but will have to check now. I don't have much appetite after a long run so usually wolf down a banana, and then have something decent later on.

  • For me it's porridge with a mashed banana stirred in. Look up the protein content of oats - it's a decent amount, probably more than you think. There's also protein in the milk you have with it. I like the idea of making protein enriched flapjacks. I already make my own grated apple flapjacks. You can add pretty much anything into them :)

  • Glass of milk, followed by fried egg on toast and baked beans for the long run :)

  • Baked beans and a Frylite egg! Fabbo Ditto scrambled egg. I don't think folks need fork out for expensive protein powders. Protein exists in real food, eg the eggs and beans, and the milk for your porridge.

  • I was in Aldi last week and I noticed their Chocolate flavoured Moo Milk (85p a litre) so I thought I'd give that a go. It compares pretty well with Morrisons and Waitrose version in terms of protein content. The Aldi version has over 4g per 100ml whereas the others are all under 4.

    I tried it after my 10k run this weekend and didn't feel quite as tired afterwards as I would normally expect. So, given that it's cheap and keeps for weeks I think I will just stick with this Moo Milk for now.

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